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Rina Sawayama’s Cover of Billie Eilish’s ‘Happier Than Ever’ Is a Headbanger’s Delight

Sawayama channeled the distortion-heavy end of the original to create a full-blown alt-rock take on the single

Rina Sawayama stopped by BBC Radio 1’s Live Lounge and shared a striking cover of Billie Eilish’s “Happier Than Ever.” 

Sawayama begins her performance on a subdued note that immediately recalled Eilish’s original, with just soft vocals and guitar. But Sawayama quickly amped things up, using the hard-edged, distortion-heavy end of “Happier Than Ever” as a guide as she tore through a full-blown alt-rock take on the tune, belting, “I could talk about every time that you showed up on time/But I’d have an empty line cause you never did/Never paid any mind to my mother or friends, so I/Shut them all out for you cause I was a kid.”

Along with covering “Happier Than Ever,” Sawayama shared a performance of her own song, “Hold the Girl,” during her Live Lounge appearance. “Hold the Girl” appears on Sawayama’s new album of the same name, which dropped earlier this month. 

Sawayama has a run of shows in the U.K., Scotland, and Ireland scheduled for October, with a North American run that kicks off Nov. 1 in Brooklyn, New York, and wraps Nov. 23 in Los Angeles.

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